Bureau of Land Management, California.
The first 3 miles follow a narrow stream corridor of public land that parallels the South Fork Elk River. The first mile is paved and accessible for those with limited mobility. Bicycles and dogs (under owner’s control) are allowed on the first 3 miles. The last 2 miles wind beneath a closed tree canopy, ending at a small old-growth redwood grove. Please stay on the trail to avoid trespassing and to protect the area’s natural resources.
Distance: It is 5 miles to the old-growth and about a mile through the old growth loop, for a total 10.5-mile trip.
Difficulty: The first 3 miles traverse moderate terrain adjacent to the river. The remaining 2 miles are moderately strenuous. Plan 1 to 2 hours for the first 3 miles, and 2 to 2.5 hours for the last 2 miles.
To access the north end of Headwaters along the Elk River, take the Elk River Road exit off Highway 101, at the south end of Eureka. Turn right onto Elk River Road and drive approximately six miles to the Elk River Trailhead parking area.